Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future

This time last year, on 21 December 2009, I was busy making my way from Thabazimbi in the North West province to a little town called 'Rooiberg'.
Thinking back now, it surprises me that I remember it so vividly. I can remember exactly what I felt, the surroundings, what the road looked like, the weather...every detail.

As I left from Thabazimbi aka 'Thaba' (as the locals call it), I stopped off about 10 km out of town at the turn off to Rooiberg for something to drink and a smoke. Yes...a smoke. I'm sure a lot of people were baffled at the fact that I cycled between 80 and 100 kilometers everyday and smoking whilst doing so.

Yes, not the healthiest or most exemplary of habits, but we all have our vices.
I'm not in the business of saving the world...just Africa. ;-)

As I stood there next to the road, watching cars, bakkies, buses and trucks drive by...an eagle swooped down to pick up some road kill conveniently lying in the middle of the road. A lizard that had fallen victim to human beings' engine driven comfortable modes of transport.

I was excited to have an eagle in arm's reach, yet nervous for the poor thing trying to time it just right, as to not share the lizard's fate.

It was a long day, but I felt so happy. Just Luna (My bike) and I, sharing the open road, surrounded by nature's beauty in all it's splendor.
That night I stayed at a rather 'upmarket' lodge called 'Tilodi Lodge'...filled with tourists. I stayed in a 'luxury tent'...which was fabulous!

I remember the feelings I had. Feelings of contentment, joy, achievement and peace.
And with the splendid sunset, surrounded by nature and all the beautiful animals...how could I but not feel this way.

That was one year ago today. Time flies!!

As my followers know, I was planning on setting off in February 2011 on my journey to becoming the first woman to circumnavigate the entire African continent on a bicycle.

The last year has been focussed on discovery and learning.
Discovering the true drive behind my passions and dreams. And learning more about myself.
When I got back home from my trip around South Africa...I had decided to cancel the trip around Africa. In all honesty, that decision was made to appease my nearest and dearest who felt I needed to 'settle down' and not chase after lofty dreams.

But, as I would discover, one cannot deny that which lies deep within your being.

It was in July 2010, whilst sick in bed (or rather on Hanret's couch) watching the Tour de France that it hit me.
Cycling around Africa is what I want to do, it is my dream...seemingly impossible to others or not...I have to do what I have to do. I could not allow others' fears to keep me from living my dream any longer. I had a choice, and I made it. I chose to GO FOR IT!

From July up until now, I have spent my time planning the trip, seeking sponsors, typing up proposals, doing presentations, sending out press releases, doing interviews for radio, magazines, newspapers, planning and setting up fund raisers (with a lot of help from my awesome friends), envisioning, planning, researching...trying to make it work.

I had a fundraiser in Cape Town at the beginning of November.
I truly believed that this would give me the boost I needed towards fulfilling my dream. The event had other plans though.
It did not pan out as I had planned at all. I felt disappointed and frustrated. I allowed my disappointment to affect my performance. I wasn't on the bike as much as I should've been, I disappointed my friends, supporters...disappointed myself.

On returning home to Johannesburg or 'Jozi', I had to face some criticism (understandably) and I had to sit myself down and ask some difficult questions.

In the last month I've been on a journey of discovering what it is that drives me, what it is I aim to achieve with this expedition and what is important to me?

It has been an amazing experience of growth, learning and discovering.
And although I have discovered so much about the why, where, what, how and who...this is only the beginning.
Three years after initially having taken that leap towards pursuing my dream...I now only get into the core of it all.

A lot has changed, and there's a lot of planning going on. The festive season will not be a quiet, relaxing time of year for me in any way, shape or form.

* I will not be leaving in February 2011
* I will cycle around Africa, launching in the near future
* I am not giving up on my dream
* Planning is in progress
* There is a plan

* I don't know exactly when I will be leaving
* I don't have it all figured out to a T yet. Maybe I never will.

On this journey of discovery I have come to realize, amongst a whole lot of other things, that there are 2 things that have never changed since I started working on fulfilling my dream in 2007.

1. Music was always going to be a part of this journey
2. I always envisioned ending the journey with a concert

So that serves as a hint to what I have in the pipeline. :)

I wish you all a very merry Christmas filled with love, laughter, joy and peace with your loved ones!

Looking forward to the new year!!!

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Thursday, 09 December 2010

We are the ones we've been waiting for...

Hopi Elders' Prophecy
Oraibi, Arizona, June 8, 2000

You have been telling people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you
must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour. And there are
things to be considered. . . .

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?

Know your garden.
It is time to speak your truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for your leader.

Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, "This could be a
good time! There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and
swift that there are those who will be afraid.
They will try to hold onto the shore.
They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination.
The elders say we must letgo of the shore, push off into the middle of the river,
keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.

And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in
history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves. For
the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey come to a halt.

The time of the one wolf is over. Gather yourselves!
Banish the word 'struggle' from your attitude and your vocabulary. All
that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

We are the ones we've been waiting for.

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Tuesday, 07 December 2010

Article in Today's Beeld Newspaper (Afrikaans)

Op haar eie wil sy Afrika op ’n fiets gaan tem

2010-12-07 08:50
Artikelopsies Deel Kry Beeld op


Jolandie Rust droom daarvan om die eerste vrou te word wat op haar eentjie op ’n fiets om Afrika ry, skryf RIËTTE GROBLER.

Wanneer Jolandie Rust (26) in Februarie 2011 die grens tussen Suid-Afrika en Namibië op haar fiets oorsteek, is sy nie van plan om terug te keer totdat sy Afrika deurkruis het nie.

Rust, ’n Johannesburger, skat dit gaan eers oor sowat 40 000 km en 34 lande en ná bykans 3 jaar wees. Teen daardie tyd wil sy haar droom van ’n soloreis reg om die vasteland verwesenlik het.

Dit was ook in die saal van haar fiets, met die naam Luna, wat sy tussen Oktober 2009 en Januarie 2010 vrou-alleen om Suid-Afrika gery het – van Johannesburg tot in Richardsbaai, al om die kus en Springbok langs terug huis toe. ’n Allemintige 5 951 km in 100 dae.

“Almal weet al, hulle kan vir my sê ek moenie ’n ding doen nie, maar ek sál as ek die besluit geneem het,” sê sy skouerophalend.

“My fiets se naam is Luna, oor my pa nog altyd sê ek’s met die maan gepla. Vriende noem my ’n sigeuner, omdat ek nie juis iemand is wat al ooit wortel geskiet het nie.”

Die fietslus het haar in Israel gepak, toe sy en ’n vriend besluit het om die land eerder op fietse as te voet te verken.

“Ons het in die middel van die somer deur die oorloggeteisterde Gasastrook gery. Ons kon nie die taal praat nie en is eendag kilometers ver deur ’n skreeuende man op ’n donkie agterna gesit,” sê sy. “Dit was dáár wat die droom begin ontkiem het om my eie land en vasteland te verken.”

Nou is daar ’n groot regmerkie langs “Suid-Afrika” op haar lys van doendinge en die volgende avontuur wag.

“My soloreise deur Suid-Afrika het my geleer waartoe ek op ’n fiets in staat is en het my laat besef dit is moeilik om te sê wat onmoontlik is,” sê sy.

“Ek het wonderlike, inspirerende en vrygewige mense ontmoet. Die boodskap was duidelik: ander glo in my, bloot omdat ek die moed het om daad by my woord te voeg. Ek het hul lewe geraak en hulle myne en ek het geweet dít is ’n boodskap wat ek oor ons landsgrense wou neem.”

Rust glo sy kan vrou-alleen ’n bewys wees dat enige doelwit haalbaar is. Sy is van plan om ’n groot bohaai oor die Millennium-ontwikkelingsdoelwitte op te skop, veral wat armoede-verligting teen 2015 betref.

“Luna dui ook op die lig wat ek op sogenaamde ‘donker’ Afrika se probleme wil skyn. Dit help nie mense gooi net geld nie, hulle moet die moue oprol en aan probleme wérk,” sê sy.

Met ’n bietjie Portugees, Frans en die Swahili wat sy van plan is om onder die knie te kry, glo sy kommunikasie sal nie onmoontlik wees nie.

Dit is egter veral met ’n djembe-drom, haar gunsteling-instrument, wat sy beoog om oor die taalgrens heen met mense te kommunikeer.

“Ek wil met my aankoms in dorpies op die drom speel om aan te kondig ek is daar,” sê dié vreeslose, doodkalm dromer.

Riëtte Grobler is ’n joernalis van Buite.

Jolandie Rust beplan al die laaste paar jaar aan haar solofietsrit om Afrika. Foto: Herman Verwey

Help Jolandie
Hoewel Jolandie Rust haar fietstoer onder die Trots Suid-Afrikaans-vaandel aanpak, moet sy self borge werf en gaan daar geen ondersteuningspan saam nie.
Geen wonder sy soek nog ondersteuning nie.
Kontak haar by jolandie.rust@gmail.com as jy wil help, en volg haar blog, http://jolandie-rust.blogspot.com.

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Monday, 06 December 2010

From a single matchstick to offices

On 12 June 2006, Telana Simpson embarked on, what might have seemed, a CRAZY idea!

She is trading a single matchstick...for offices!
The idea is to keep trading items up in perceived value, until she secures offices to run her training and coaching business from. When she gets her offices, she will be contributing some space to mentoring a start-up entrepreneurial enterprise, and helping them give their dream life


I first met Telana on the day I completed my trip around South Africa. It was at my
'Welcome Home' party that she handed me a single matchstick. At first I didn't quite know what to make of it. Until I saw that there was something written on the matchstick. This tiny little matchstick represented something...

It represented innovation, possibility, belief, creativity...and I was intrigued.

Over the last year I've become good friends with Telana. I have learned a great deal from her and she has inspired not only me...but every single person that crosses her path.

It is now just over 4 years down the line and the trades she has made has been:

A matchstick
For a pen
For a toy frog
For two books
For two cases of wine
For a holiday in Utopia nature reserve
For R3000 cash
For a hot-air balloon flight
For a party for 150 people
For 375 Springleap T-shirts....

NOW...she only has 140 Tshirts left!!!!

People have blogged about her, written articles about her, interviewed her on radio...she is a true Mover and Shaker!! ;)

Recently she organized the first SWARM party in Africa to unlock the Super Swarm badge through the nifty application FOURSQUARE.
She has organized countless different trades as 'three-way' trades for the Super Cool Springleap T-Shirts. Including tickets to shows, rock climbing lessons, photo shoots, parties, henna tattoos, design competitions....the list goes on.

Through all of this, she has inspired and helped so many people to reach for their own dreams.

So, if you'd like to be part of the Onematchstick Revolution, contact Telana Simpson and trade with her for one of the remaining Springleap T-shirts! There are only 140 left!!!

Also check out her BLOG for current offers!

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